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Solar Sail Spacecraft Begins Test Voyage in Orbit

May 23, 2015

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., May 22, 2015 — A small box launched into space Wednesday will soon blossom into a 32-m2 spacecraft designed to sail on sunlight.

The flight is a test of The Planetary Society’s LightSail, which it said could change how satellites and even larger spacecraft move around the solar system.

LightSail isn’t high enough to escape Earth’s atmospheric drag and thus will not demonstrate controlled solar sailing. Instead, it is expected to go through a testing period of about four weeks, after which it will deploy its four solar sails so crews on the ground can study their behavior in low-earth orbit.


YouTube video The Planetary Society

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